Rockies trade for Matt Lindstrom


It’s no secret that the Rox have been looking to sure up their bullpen. Over the last month, the Rockies have been associated with a thousand different relievers, but, much to the chagrin of the fans, they haven’t been able to acquire any of their desired targets. That is until yesterday, when they acquired reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Astros for two pitching prospects – Wes Musick and Jonnathan Aristil. Houston and their Napoleonic GM, Ed Wade, gave the Rockies a gift. The Astros dumped Lindstrom in an effort to reduce payroll and didn’t ask for much in return.

Welcome to Denver, Matt. Try our beer, but stay out of any shops with a green cross on the sign.

Lindstrom is a power righty that will assist Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle in a set-up role. He can also close, if Huston Street is injured. Last season, he had 21 saves before the all-star break, but struggled in the second half. In Colorado, he won’t be asked to carry the same burden as he was in Houston. The Rox are excited about his potential.

Prior to 2010, Lindstrom pitched three seasons for the Marlins, appearing in at least 50 games each year. In 2007 and 2008, he was highly effective, but wasn’t in 2009 or 2010. The Rockies are hoping that a change of scenery and a winning baseball team will help Lindstrom get back to his 2007 form.

The Rockies selected Wes Musick out of the University of Houston in the ninth round of the 2009 draft. The Lufkin, Texas native had a prolific college career, being named to various All-American and All-CUSA teams in his three seasons with the Cougars. In 2009, he started five games for Tri-City, accumulating a 2.49 ERA over 25.1 innings. Last year in Asheville, he made twenty-three starts, going 8-7 with a 4.05 ERA in 122.1 innings. As a hard-throwing lefty, Musick has a bright future. However, with quality pitching at the lower levels, he was expendable. The Astros have had their eye on him for a number of years. They drafted Musick out of high school in the 46th round of the 2005 draft.

Aristil signed with the Rockies as a nineteen-year-old from San Pedro de Macoris, Republica de Dominicana. After five minor league seasons, he has a career 4.47 ERA. Last year, he saw time in Modesto, Tulsa, and Colorado Springs, but didn’t perform very well. He pitched 71.2 innings for the year with a 5.90 ERA and 1.63 WHIP.

Overall, I give the Rockies a high grade for this trade. They acquired a veteran arm with closing experience and didn’t sacrifice a lot. While Musick was a decent prospect, A ball is a long way from the majors and he still needs work. Plus, he is already 24. Consider Aristil a stocking stuffer in this deal. It’s doubtful that he will ever throw a pitch in the big leagues. With the addition of Lindstrom, the Rockies are basically set for 2011. Unless there is a big trade, don’t expect much action before spring training.

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